Some talk about Social Emotional Learning as an effective strategy to combat many of the challenges facing our students because they don’t want to attack root causes of those problems, including poverty and inequality (see The Manipulation of Emotional Learning and The Best Resources Showing Social Emotional Learning Isn’t Enough).

A new study points yet another hole in that perspective by finding that poverty is a major cause of mental ill health, particularly anxiety and depression – both of which have major impacts on cognitive functions.

That doesn’t mean that schools and teachers can’t do anything to mitigate some of these effects on our students (see “How Income Affects The Brain” & What We Can Do About It),  but we should be able to distinguish what actions are more “band-aids” and which ones will have a more systemic impact – and act accordingly.

Let’s shy away from thinking there are “magical” solutions….